Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008
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Love Thy Neighbor : Explaining Asylum Seeking and Hosting, 1982-2008. Jeong-Woo Koo (Sungkyunkwan University) Eunhye Yoo (University of Minnesota). Problem. Increasing salience of the refugee issues Refugee movements as a key feature of globalization

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Love Thy Neighbor : Explaining Asylum Seeking and Hosting, 1982-2008

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Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

Love Thy Neighbor: Explaining Asylum Seeking and Hosting, 1982-2008

Jeong-Woo Koo (Sungkyunkwan University)

Eunhye Yoo (University of Minnesota)


Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

Problem

  • Increasing salience of the refugee issues

  • Refugee movements as a key feature of globalization

  • Unknown mechanisms underlying refugee movements

  • Adequate theoretical frameworks required


Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

Research Questions

•Which countries are more attractive for refugees in deciding their final destinations? What domestic characteristics lead refugees to choose a country as an ideal place to resettle?

•Which countries are more likely to provide legal and permanent protection for asylum seekers? What characteristics of countries lead them to be more open to and/or tolerant of refugees?


Historical background

Historical Background

  • Refugees fundamental to history of modern nation-states

  • The emergence of the notion only after World War I

  • The League of Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees (1921)

  • Rise of Fascism, World War II, the 1948 Palestine War, etc., a continuous flow of refugees

  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR 1950)

  • Hungarian Crisis of 1956, African decolonization, and ethnic wars/conflicts refugees in rise

  • Collapse of Soviet Union, refugee crises in Iraq, the Balkan, Rwanda, and Afghanistan escalating number of refugees


Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

International Refugee Regime

  • UNHCR

  • The 1951 Convention

  • Refugee as any person outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of events occurring before 1 January 1951 and owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of particular social group of political opinion

  • The 1967 Optional Protocol

  • Broadening Euro-centric scope

  • 121 Active international organizations regarding refugees, including INGOs


Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

Asylum Seekers

  • Individuals who have applied for asylum or refugee status, but who have not yet received a final decision

  • Right to seek and enjoy asylum codified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


The number of refugee applications in the world

The number of Refugee Applications in the world


Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

Top and Bottom 10 Countries of Submitted Asylum Applications,

1996-2008


Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

Recognition Rates of Asylum Seekers, 1982-2008


Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

Top and Bottom 10 Countries Recognizing Asylum Seekers, 1996- 2008


Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

Theories and Hypotheses: Rationalist Theory (1/2)

Hypothesis 1a: Asylum seekers are more likely to prefer countries with political stability, democratic political structures, and high level of human rights protections, the ones that often align with western cultural heritage.

Hypothesis 1b: Countries with political stability, democratic polity structures, high level human rights protections, and western heritage are more prone to admit refugees.


Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

Theories and Hypotheses: Rationalist Theory (2/2)

Hypothesis 2a: Asylum seekers are more likely to prefer economically robust countries and/or those with better welfare provisions.

Hypothesis 2b: Economically robust countries and/or the countries with more welfare spending are not more likely to recognize asylum seekers.


Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

Theories and Hypotheses:

World Polity Institutionalism (1/2)

Hypothesis 3a: Asylum seekers are more likely to lodge their applications as the world polity becomes more saturated with refugee instruments and organizations.

Hypothesis 3b: Countries are more likely to grant permanent refugee status as the world polity becomes more saturated with refugee instruments and organizations.


Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

Theories and Hypotheses:

World Polity Institutionalism (2/2)

Hypothesis 4a: Asylum seekers are more likely to prefer countries with stronger links to the world polity, especially the international refugee regime.

Hypothesis 4b: Countries with stronger links to the world polity, including the international refugee regime, are more likely to recognize asylum seekers.


Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

Data

  • Pooled cross-sectional time-series data from 1982 to 2008

  • A total of 5,852 country-year observations.

  • 93 countries for refugee application and 95 countries for refugee recognition rate.

  • Dependent variables:

  • The number of refugee applications submitted (logged)

  • Countries’ refugee recognition rates.

  • Data collected from the UNHCR statistical yearbooks


Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

Independent Variables (Rationalist variables)

  • Political Security Index. Based on factory analysis of the three variables, i.e., democracy, human rights, and political violence. Measures the degree of political security.

  • Western Heritage. A non-time dependent dummy variable, designating countries as western civilization (1) or non-western civilization (0).

  • Economic Development Measures. GDP per capita (logged).

  • Social Welfare Policy. The level of welfare regime in a given country of asylum using a WDI indicator of social contribution (% of revenue).


Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

Independent Variables

(World Polity Institutionalist variables)

  • International Refugee Regime Index. Based on a factor analysis of the cumulative number of refugee instruments as well as that of international organizations.

  • Adoption of the 1967 Protocols. A dummy variable of indicating whether the state enters into a member party to the 1967 Protocols.

  • Domestic Refugee Law Legislation. A time-dependent dummy variable that measures whether a country adopted a refugee law in a given year.

  • International Human Rights Conventions. The aggregate measure of selected conventions related to human rights and migration. The maximum number of possible convention ratification is 9.

  • International Organization (INGOs and IGOs) Membership Status. Each national INGO /IGOs membership data collected from the Yearbook of International Organizations.


Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

Control Variables

  • Refugee Inflows: The total number of refugee inflows (logged)

  • Lagged Dependent Variables: One-year lagged dependent variables

  • Size of Country: The population of a country


Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

Methods

  • Dependent variables not entirely known.

  • Both refugee recognition rate and refugee application report more than 50% of zero values.

  • Using random-effects Tobit models

  • Sensitivity tests using fixed-effects models, probit, and truncated liner regression models

     No substantial changes in the results.


Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

Results (Application Analysis)

  • Refugees consider their political security as the top priority by choosing safe countries with a more stable security environment, better human rights records, and a higher profile of democracy.

  • Western countries appear to be the main target of refugees as their new residence.

  • Not clear whether refugees prefer affluent countries.

  • Refugees are more likely to file their asylum applications when the world polity becomes more saturated with relevant instruments and organizations.

  • Refugees are more likely to submit applications to host countries that ratified the 1967 Convention, and passed national legislation, and ratified core human rights instruments.


Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

Results (Recognition Rate Analysis)

  • Higher propensity of countries with higher profiles in national security, human rights, and democracy (i.e., safe countries).

  • Western countries as forerunners.

  • Robust economies and/or countries along with better welfare provisions are not more likely to recognize.

  • The stronger influence of the international refugee regime, the more likely for countries to recognize.

  • Ratification of international human rights conventions makes it more likely for countries to recognize.

  • Yet, 1967 Protocol, domestic refugee law, and countries’ members in IOs are largely not relevant.


Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

Implications

  • The search for a “theory of refugees” that goes beyond narrowly conceptualized rationalist framework.

  • Broadening empirically the array of refugee movements.

  • The issue of state sovereignty; relinquished or retained?

  • The thesis of “shrinking” of European generosity.

  • “Love Thy Neighbor”


Love thy neighbor explaining asylum seeking and hosting 1982 2008

Thank you


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